4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Worst coaching: Nelson County Middle School librarian Tim Bennett, who also coaches high school track, using the on-line screen name "Steel Pony," allegedly masturbates and explains how to perform oral sex to an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl, according to the arrest warrant. Bennett is arrested September 28 and charged with two felonies for taking indecent liberties with children and use of a communications system to facilitate certain offenses involving children. The Nelson County Times has the story.
Worst accident involving a two-year-old: A child strapped in a car seat falls out of an SUV driven by his grandmother September 28, is dragged a short distance and then run over by the car on Michie Drive, according to the Progress. The toddler was in fair condition at UVA Medical Center the next day.
Worst place to find a naked two-year-old: In the middle of the road, as was the case September 20 in Fluvanna, when his mom fell asleep, allegedly after drinking cold medicine and alcoholic beverages. Ashley Victoria Snow, 21, faces one count of felony child neglect.
Worst trend for train transportation: Copper wire is taken from a switching signal on the Buckingham Branch line in Albemarle. Police arrest Michelle Fergison, 23, and Phillip Dwayne Harris, 32, both of Ruther Glen, who allegedly are found in possession of copper wire.
Highest profile break-in victims: Delegates David Toscano and Rob Bell, whose law offices are in the same building on High Street, are burgled late September 25 or early the 26th, and cash and computers are taken. The neighboring public defender's office is also hit, and cash and a lunch are taken.
Longest sentence for a botched bank robbery: Jeffrey Alan Adams, who tried to rob the Union Bank & Trust on the Downtown Mall June 1, and later apologized via letter to citizens via the Hook, is sentenced October 1 to 11 years and three months.
Best news for homeowners/worst for Albemarle County: County exec Bob Tucker says real estate reassessments were estimated at going up 5 percent, but new projections put the increase at 0.8 percent. That leaves the county with a $3.3 million shortfall, $1.9 million of which will have to come out of school budgets. Jeremy Borden has the story in the Daily Progress.
Most dramatic change in the weather: Often controversial UVA prof Patrick Michaels, 57, resigns as state climatologist, Bob Gibson reports in the Progress. Michaels' use of secret contributors, including utility companies, to fund his research contributed to the controversy. He'll continue as a part-time research professor at UVA.
Best free ride: City bus service is free during October. Too bad if you live in Crozet...
Least pedestrian friendly: The Dairy Road pedestrian bridge over U.S. 250 is closed until further notice after structural concerns about the pedestrian sidewalk emerged from an inspection. It's still okay for Walker Upper Elementary and Charlottesville High students to be driven across the auto portion of the bridge.
Most illuminating: Charlottesville seeks the perfect, free, 25-foot Christmas tree to be illuminated on the Downtown Mall November 23.
Best seller: Charlottesville-raised Jason Wright's new book, The Wednesday Letters, hits the New York Times bestseller list one week after release, according to a press release.
Biggest gauntlet thrown down at Google: New UVA media studies prof Siva Vaidhyanathan publishes The Googlization of Everything: How One Company is Disrupting Culture, Commerce and Community– and Why We Should Worry, Brian McNeill reports in the DP.
Correction: Siva Vaidhyanathan's work is a book-in-progress. He has neither finished it, nor has it been published–editor.